Healthy habits can be taught at school or in a Learn Play Grow class but in reality, we all know that the foundation for learning good habits starts at home.
Many of the things that shape our children, whether it’s their choice of sporting activity, the food they eat or their manners, are all influenced by you, their most significant role models.
Young children love to copy their mums, dads or older siblings, so whatever you do at home they will replicate.
If you’re trying to influence them in the right way, to do things they might not be keen on – eating their greens for example – it can seem like an uphill struggle to get them on board so you may need to get a little creative. That’s where Learn Play Grow is here to help and support you with ways to encourage good habits at home with your little ones. Our top four are:
- Keeping active
- Filling up on fresh food
- Minding your P’s & Q’s
- Safety for sure
There are some easy and fun ways to keep kids active, and one of the nicest is making the most of the great outdoors. Research has shown that ‘green exercise’ – spending time in the country or by the sea – can have mental and physiological benefits because children (and adults) learn to associate happy times with being outdoors. So instead of just heading out around the town or spending your leisure time in in built up areas, why not take a football or Frisbee out to the fields and enjoy the trees, fields and flowers?
Filling up on Fresh Food
We all know what it’s like to crave the foods we know are bad for us; but although we all love a bit of junk food now and again, these foods have been associated with obesity, diabetes and other health conditions, so we need to limit them and persuade our children to pick fresh foods like fruit and vegetables with healthy dips rather than crisps and chocolate. Again, it’s all about leading by example, and if the kids see you enjoying healthier snacks they will follow your lead. On our Facebook page, we often share fun and healthy food ideas like fruity animals or yoghurt popsicles.
Minding your Ps and Qs
Along with being active and eating well, we like to teach good manners at Learn Play Grow. There are important words we teach kids to remember to say whether they are at home, with friends or at school. Kind words don’t cost anything, but they are valuable to other people so we think it’s important that children learn to say please and thank you, to be considerate and kind. This is so easy to teach your children, they pick up on everything you do so if they are used to hearing you being polite and considerate they will just accept it as the norm.
Safety for Sure
We’re big on safety at Learn Play grow, especially as we promote being active and being out and about can have its dangers. Another key thing that little children should learn from an early age is how to be safe – whether that’s on the road or being aware of stranger danger.
Our characters promote these two messages, in particular, always holding a grown up’s hand when you cross the road, and never talking to strangers, even if they have dogs or sweets. These messages are easy to reinforce at home too.
We’ll continue to teach kids our four key messages – and we hope our tips give you a few ideas about promoting your own children’s healthy habits.